Doug Geivett

Remembering Edward John Carnell—Some Reflections of a Great Apologist

By Doug Geivett Aug. 5, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Christian Education, Culture, Historical Theology

On April 25, 1967, the church lost a great Christian philosopher and apologist named Edward John Carnell. He was almost 48 years old. Today marks the 48th anniversary of his death. He was a graduate of Wheaton College and of Westminster Theological Seminary. He later earned doctoral degrees in theology and philosophy, at Harvard Divinity School and Boston University, respectively ...

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Arnold Lunn (1888-1974) – Skiing Expert, Agnostic, and Christian Apologist

By Doug Geivett Jul. 29, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Historical Theology

Arnold Lunn was born to a Methodist minister, but he was himself agnostic and a critic of Christianity—until he was 45 years old, when he converted to the faith. Lunn died on June 2, 1974.

Lunn was a professional skier and full-time enthusiast. He founded the Alpine Ski Club and the Kandahar Ski Club. He brought slalom skiing to the racing world, and he’s the namesake for a double black diamond ski trail at Taos Ski Valley.

Lunn credited his agnosticism to the wholly unconvincing cause of Anglicanism. He looked in vain for persuasive arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Christianity. Later he would say that “an odd hour or two at the end of a boy’s school life might not be unprofitably spend in armouring him against the half-baked dupes of ill informed secularists” (The Third Day, xvii). He wrote in criticism of the faith and debated Christianity’s prominent defenders ...

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W. H. Griffith Thomas (1861-1924) – How We Got Our Bible

By Doug Geivett Jul. 22, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Church Life, Culture, Historical Theology

Born in 1861, W. H. Griffith Thomas died on June 2, 1924. His greatest and most sophisticated work is his book The Principles of Theology, a commentary on the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church. But one short and reader-friendly book that should interest students of Christian apologetics is How We Got Our Bible ...

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The Great Dane—Remembering Kierkegaard

By Doug Geivett Jul. 15, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Culture, Philosophy, Historical Theology

Søren Kierkegaard was born May 5, 1813, in Copenhagen, Denmark. He’s been called a Christian existentialist, a fideist, a satirist, and “the melancholy Dane.” He was concerned about the disconnect between Christian profession and the lived reality of true Christianity. He called his contemporaries to a deeper personal encounter with God. And he wrote with penetrating insight about the failure of the purely aesthetic life—what we today might call secularism—which seeks pleasure without discerning its natural and ultimate end, namely, despair. Kierkegaard’s contribution is considerable, even for the evidentialist. In fact, his sermonic style may be of value to the apologist who insists on the value of evidence. E. J. Carnell, mid-twentieth century, did the most to bring Kierkegaard’s insight into an overall “combinationalist” approach to apologetics. Carnell wrote: “There can be no question that Søren Kierkegaard gave a profoundly convincing defense of the third locus of truth.

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William Beauchamp—On the Urgency of Christian Apologetics for Our Time

By Doug Geivett Jul. 1, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Culture, Ethics, Philosophy

Here are some words of exhortation that have special application to the events and conditions of our present tumultuous age:

... But whence, in this eventful day, can we draw the principles of caution, prudence and wisdom, if not from the Gospel of Jesus Christ? And can we with diligence seek these principles, and with confidence exercise them, unless we have firm faith in the truth of our Holy Religion?

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Crossing the Heath with William Paley (1743-1805)

By Doug Geivett Jun. 22, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Christian Education, Culture

On May 25, 1805 the Christian church lost one of its ablest and most-remembered defenders. William Paley—Anglican minister, professor, and author—is permanently associated with the analogy of a watchmaker and the God of personal theism. He wrote that “the contrivances of nature . . . are not less evidently mechanical, not less evidently contrivances, not less accommodated to their end or suited to their office, than are the most perfect productions of human ingenuity” (Natural Theology, 1802). Paley mined the riches of biology for samples of such contrivance. In his day, the state of scientific knowledge in the field of biology permitted comparatively easy inference to the appearance of teleology in the natural world. Critics today forget this. The “demise” of Paley’s design argument for the existence of God is credited especially to a development that was to happen some 60 years later—the emergence of the new theory of evolution, beginning with the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859) ...

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Justin Martyr: The First Great Apologist of the Christian Church

By Doug Geivett Jun. 10, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Historical Theology

Justin Martyr (ca. 100-165 AD) is considered by many to be the first great apologist of the Christian church. The apostle Paul is surely a better candidate for that distinction. But Paul was an inspired author of Scripture. This is not true of any of the other great Christian apologists. And Justin apparently was the first of these. Certainly, he is the first whose writings have survived and are available in English translation ...

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